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Pope accepts resignation of three Chilean bishops in sex abuse scandal

Pope accepts resignation of three Chilean bishops in sex abuse scandal

The report prompted Francis to summon all of Chile's Catholic hierarchy to an unprecedented summit last month, where they all offered their resignations.

In 2015, Francis appointed Barros as the head of the southern diocese of Osorno despite accusations he had covered up for Karadima.

Pope Francis will join the rally for the final two days, August 25-26, presiding over the final Mass in Dublin.

But days after returning to Rome, a chastened pope, citing new information, sent sexual abuse investigator Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta to Chile to speak to victims, witnesses and other church members.

But with the other two resignations, Francis is making clear that the troubles in Chile's church do not rest on Barros' shoulders alone, or on those of the more than 40 other priests and three other bishops trained by the Rev. Fernando Karadima.

Pope Francis remains in the spotlight, following recent comments about climate change with pleads to oil executives that call for clean fuel. Of the three, only 61-year-old Barros is below the retirement age of 75.

The decision of whether to accept the bishops' resignations is up to Pope Francis.

"A new day has begun in Chile's Catholic Church!" tweeted Juan Carlos Cruz, the abuse survivor who had denounced Barros for years and pressed the Vatican to take action. They questioned Barros' suitability to lead given he had been a top lieutenant of Chile's most notorious predator priest and had been accused by victims of witnessing and ignoring their abuse.




Barros, who is a central figure in the controversy, has been accused of covering up abuse committed by another priest in the 80s and 90s.

Opponents have been vocal about their opposition to Barros ever since, with some of the most outspoken being victims of Karadima, who in 2011 was found guilty by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of sexually abusing several minors during the 1980s and 1990s, and sentenced to a life of prayer and solitude.

In a letter to Chileans released at the end of last month, the pontiff voiced "shame" that the Catholic Church failed "to listen and react in time" to the allegations of sexual abuse by Chilean clergy.

The Vatican named the other two bishops as Cristian Caro Cordero and Gonzalo Duarte Garcia de Cortazar.

He has since received two groups of Karadima's victims at the Vatican.

However, after having read a 2,300-page report on abuses in Chile, the pope admitted having made "grave mistakes" and apologized to victims.

The Catholic Church's upcoming big family rally in Ireland will feature workshops on hot-button issues facing Catholic families, including priestly sexual abuse, weathering divorce and ministering to lesbian and gay faithful.